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Sheelin slowly wakes to spring

May 8th, 2018 | by

April 2nd – May 6th 2018

‘You have your way, I have my way, as for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it does not exist’
Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Damiens Fenelon, France with his early season trout on Sheelin

Damiens Fenelon, France with his early season trout on Sheelin

The water clarity on Lough Sheelin for most of April has been alarmingly poor and this coupled with high water levels and persistent cold has made this lake over the past number of weeks into a difficult and challenging place to be. Lough Sheelin’s knife edge nutrient status is no secret, as one eminent biologist once commented of Sheelin that it is ‘the cleanest dirtiest lake in the world’.  The water quality here has been and always will be a contentious issue because Sheelin carries an unenviable past of high phosphate loading and a present of continual pollution prevention.

Double rainbows for Sheelin

Double rainbows for Sheelin

Towards the end of April the water clarity here began to improve and as if heralding in our summer, reputably May 1st ,Sheelin became clear again with a welcome evidence (albeit in small numbers) of olives, buzzer, tiny black chironomids and some duck fly.

Jock Woods, Scotland with his 58cm fish (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com)

Jock Woods, Scotland with his 58cm fish (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com)

Winter seems to have smothered spring and although now into the so called summer months, anglers here are still trying to catch up, having been seemingly cheated out of early season with the mixture of adverse conditions. On a more positive note I was reminded by a long time angler and advocate of this lake ‘that Sheelin is like a fine wine, it just needs time to become ready’.

A Kildare angler on Sheelin, Sunday April 8th

A Kildare angler on Sheelin, Sunday April 8th

Hampered by the absence of insect hatches, April was all about lures and sinking lines with the Humungus and Minkies with red and silver intertwined achieving the best results. It has been a struggle for the traditional fly angler with things only improving over the past number of days spurring on the reappearance of the old early season favourites like the Sooty Olives, the Kingsmill (on the point), Black Pennell, Connemara Black, Bibios, Bumbles and Nymph patterns.

The Hatches

There were no insect hatches reported as late as April 27th despite the false afternoon heat that followed a number of frosty mornings.  A few duck fly were spotted in Bog Bay earlier in the month but it was all fairly hit and miss.  The first break in this ‘lack of insect’ cycle was on April 28th when there were good hatches of olives in Bog Bay and more importantly fish were feeding on them.  Tiny black chironomids featured in scattered numbers throughout the month but these were too small to imitate and did not attract any interest from the fish.

Lough Sheelin’s elusive Duck fly

Lough Sheelin’s elusive Duck fly

There are three essential steps to successful fishing regardless of all climatic and eutrophic obstacles and the first and the most important is to find where the fish are, secondly it’s the depth they are feeding and finally the fly/technique, this of course presupposes that you know what they are feeding on.  Up until now it’s been hard to escape from the lures but in the early days of May there appeared a chink in the large lure armour and a few fish were finally showing an interest in the fly imitations.

The Catches

The shallows were the best places to head for – Merry pt, Stony Islands, the south shore of Derrysheridan and Ross Bay (good for buzzer hatches) and at the back of Church Island. The north shore of the lake from Chambers Bay, Arley down to Crover was also a good stretch particularly at the start of May when fishing with nymph, olive and buzzer patterns produced some interest from the fish.

John Coyne with his hard earned Sheelin trout caught using a Humungus, April 20th

John Coyne with his hard earned Sheelin trout caught using a Humungus, April 20th

Anglers fishing the lake tell me that anywhere is good if you can find the fish but you need to be on top of them for success regardless of what you’re using.  In all this tip lipped confusion it is good to remember that the shallows are the places that are packed with easily accessible food – fresh water shrimp and water louse and our trout are still in the process of regaining condition after the winter so these are the places for now that they will most likely be.

A 55cm trout from Sheelin (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com)

A 55cm trout from Sheelin (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com)

French friends Romain Durand and Damiens Fenelon   evasionpecheirlande@gmail.com (+33685964369) evasionpecheirlande.net

French friends Romain Durand and Damiens Fenelon   evasionpecheirlande@gmail.com (+33685964369) evasionpecheirlande.net

There were some nice trout caught fishing nymphs in the first few days of May. For the past number of weeks it has been the lures that have achieved the best results so now going imitative with the nymphs can be a useful way of attracting the fish that have managed to evade all of the brightly coloured lures zooming past them. The key to nymph fishing is to pick a pattern that resembles something the trout are feeding upon, or which attracts their attention and to fish it in a manner that makes it move in a convincing way and at a depth at which the trout are feeding.  A floating line with a very slow retrieve is recommended.

Gary McKiernan of Lough Sheelin Guiding with the weight of the month a 65cm trout.

Gary McKiernan of Lough Sheelin Guiding with the weight of the month a 65cm trout.

The biggest fish for the past month was a 6 lb trout caught by Dariukus Berzina, Dublin using a black & gold Humungus fishing around Church Island.

 Total number of trout recorded: 52

Selection of Catches            

  • Jock Woods, Scotland – 1 trout at 58cm
  • Gary McKiernan – 10 trout heaviest at 59 and 85 cm
  • Eamonn Ross, Cavan – May 4th 1 trout at 4 lbs on a mayfly nymph at Arley.
  • Frank Kelly, Cavan – 3 trout, heaviest at 3.25 lbs on nymphs.
  • Owen Jacob, Dublin – 1 trout at 4.25lbs on wet fly.
  • Romain Durand & Damiens Fenelon (evasionpecheirlande@gmail.com (+33685964369 ) evasionpecheirlande.net) – 9 trout on April 26th using lures, 55 – 61cm.
  • Daniels Baumanis, Dublin – 2 trout heaviest at 4lbs using gold and silver Minkies.
  • Markus Rubenis, Navan – 1 trout at 4 ½ lbs fishing at the back of Church Island on a Humungus.
  • Karlis Freimanus, Navan – 2 trout at 3 and 3 ½ lbs, both on lures fishing around Bog Bay, April 27th.
  • Dzintaris Mucenieks, Dublin – 4 trout heaviest at 5lbs using lures fishing Kilnahard and Merry pt.
    Paul Brady, Cavan – 1 trout at 1 ½ lbs on a Sooty Olive in Chambers Bay, May 1st.
  • Trevor Scott, Cavan – 1 trout at 2lbs on a Sooty Olive, fishing in Kilnahard on a Black Pennell.
Michael Farrell’s April trout

Michael Farrell’s April trout

The Flies

The Dabbler in Claret, Silver, Pearly, Peter Ross and Fiery Brown produced a few successes and has been a consistent favourite for Sheelin, appearing again and again throughout the season in the trout catches here. The Dabbler fished on a fast retrieve has always worked well on this lake and while the colour of this wet fly is significant on certain days due to weather conditions, cloud or lack of cloud, wind strength and definitely location, the colour is not 100% of the success rate, it is the speed triggering off necessary curiosity that injects the vital ingredient.

Ian Christie’s Chrunchers (tied using dyed peacock herl with holographic cheeks)

Ian Christie’s Chrunchers (tied using dyed peacock herl with holographic cheeks)

The most successful flies were the Pheasant Tail, Diawl Bach, Hare’s Ear and Olive Nymph in a size12 and 14, the Sooty Olive, Muddlers, Klinkhammer, the Dunkeld, the Chernobyll, Claret & Mallard and Golden Olive Bumble.

Ian Christie’s Buzzer – works great when tied with holographic cheeks

Ian Christie’s Buzzer – works great when tied with holographic cheeks

The lures that took top place were the Minkies and Humungus in black, gold and silver. The Sweeney Todd and the Cats Whiskers.

The River Inny at Finea, Lough Sheelin

The River Inny at Finea, Lough Sheelin

Damiens Fenelon with a beautiful April trout

Damiens Fenelon with a beautiful April trout

Romain Durand and Damiens Fenelon, France

Romain Durand and Damiens Fenelon, France

It's not all about fish - a frog surrounded by spawn in a weedy shallow area

It’s not all about fish – a frog surrounded by spawn in a weedy shallow area

Gary McKiernan of Lough Sheelin Guiding with a 65 cm trout

Gary McKiernan of Lough Sheelin Guiding with a 65 cm trout

Christopher Defillon and Damiens Fenelon with a beautiful Sheelin trout

Christopher Defillon and Damiens Fenelon with a beautiful Sheelin trout

Go Fishing…

 

House Rules

A permit is required to fish Lough Sheelin. Buy your permit online at: shop.fishinginireland.info or from any of the permit distributors listed here.

Catch and Release

Releasing a Sheelin trout #CPRsavesfish
A catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times

 BYE-LAW 949 strictly prohibits:

  • The taking of any brown trout of less than 36 centimetres.
  • For a person to fish with more than 2 rods at any one time.
  • To fish with more than 4 rods at any one time when there is more than one person on board the boat concerned.
  • For a person to take more than 2 trout per day.
  • All trolling on the lake from March 1st to June 16th (inclusive).
  • To fish or to attempt to take or to fish for, fish of any kind other than during the period from March 1st to October 12th in any year.

Join the Club…

For anyone interested in joining Lough Sheelin’s Angling Club – The Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association please contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033.

Guides and ghillies…

Grey Duster GuidingGrey Duster Guiding
Kenneth O’Keeffe
Tel: 
086 8984172 Email: trout@live.ie

Christopher Defillon
Tel: +33 68 596 4369  Email: evasionpecheirlande@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.defillon

Lough Sheelin Guiding Services
Tel: 087 1245927 Web: www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com

D.C Angling & Guiding Services
contact David @ 087 3946989

Michael Farrell
Tel: 087 4194156 or  +353 43 6681298
Email: loughsheelinguide@hotmail.com

Michael Flanagan,
Trout and Pike Guide.
Email: mick@midlandangling.com Web: www.midlandangling.com

Lifejackets

We would implore anglers and all other users to wear life jackets for their own safety as well as it being the law.

Life jackets are required by law – SI No 921 of 2005 – Pleasure Craft (Personal Flotation Devices and Operation) (Safety) Regulations 2005.Water  rarely gives second chances and a life jacket is just that – it saves your life.

Please put on and keep on that life jacket until you are back on dry land.

Sheelin at sunset

Sheelin at sunset


This post is in: Lough Sheelin, Trout fishing reports